Alopecia

Everyone loses hair. It is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs each day, but if you see bald patches or lots of thinning, you may be experiencing hair loss.

If hair loss runs in your family, it is possible that you too could lose a lot more hair than what is normal. With this kind of hair loss, you may end up with bald spots if you are a man. If you are a woman, you may find that the hair on the top of your head is slowly thinning. About half of all people have this type of hair loss by around age 50.

Alopecia is a disease characterized by rapid and sudden loss of scalp hair or other regions of the body. With this disease, the hair falls out in large quantities in certain areas, providing visualization of the scalp or skin which was previously covered by hair or body hair. It has several causes, and therefore there are several forms of treatment.

The word alopecia comes from Ancient Greek, and roughly translates to “fox disease,” on account that foxes change their fur twice a year. The word areata means “occurring in patches or circumscribed areas.”

Symptoms of alopecia

Your symptoms will depend on what kind of hair loss you have. If your hair is thinning, it happens slowly over time, so you may not notice the hairs falling out. If your hair is shedding, then clumps of hair will fall out. You may lose hair all over your scalp, which is called general hair loss. Or you may lose hair only in one area, which is called focal hair loss.

With inherited hair loss , men usually get bald spots around the forehead or on the top of the head, while women have some thinning all over the scalp, but mostly on the top of the head.

Since your hair has a lot to do with your appearance, losing it may cause you to have lower self-esteem if you don’t like how you look. This is especially true in women and teens.

The hair loss causes can be:

  • Seborrhea of the scalp;
  • Drug use;
  • stress;
  • postpartum hormonal reaction;
  • Use of inappropriate chemicals;
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Diseases such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, secondary syphilis or lichen planus;
  • Protein deficiency, iron, zinc and biotin.
  • In addition, some types of cancer may also promote hair loss, and skin cancer, for example.

Types of alopecia

  • Alopecia areata: caused by autoimmune factors or emotional shock, characterized by severe hair loss in certain areas.
  • Androgenic: also called baldness, is caused by genetic factors associated with the testosterone level in the blood stream, and for this reason it is more common in men
  • Traumatic: caused by the fact that individuals have the habit of plucking hairs constantly or head injuries
  • Due to the side effects of drugs, for example, used to combat cancer
  • Seborrheic: caused by dermatitis, which can be treated using drugs
  • Telogen: effluvium is a normal period in which the hair falls naturally, but when this mechanism is deregulated, there may be a longer periods of hair loss, which usually respond well to clinical treatments.

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